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MA Communication Sciences and Disorders: Accreditation

Accreditation Status

The Master of Arts (MA) education program in speech-language pathology (residental) at Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, telephone: 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.


Once admitted, a student's progress in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program is reviewed each semester. Continuation in the graduate program is contingent upon the following:

  • Maintaining a 3.00 grade point average in all courses attempted at Our Lady of the Lake University.
  • Progressing satisfactorily toward completion of educational objective (i.e., degree or certification).

Records of all graduate students registered for nine or more semester hours of work are reviewed for academic discipline at the end of each grading period. Records of part-time students are reviewed upon completion of nine semester hours. All courses, even if the courses were not completed, are considered in the nine semester hours. If a student's disciplinary status is affected by the change of an "I" (incomplete) grade, the appropriate action is taken at the end of the term in which the grade change was made. Should a graduate student have a "D" grade or less than the 3.00 grade point average at any review point, the student will be placed on Scholastic Probation for the next nine hours of course work at the University. During that period, the student must do the following:

  • Raise the overall grade point average to 3.00.
  • Receive no grades of "D" or "F" in any course.
  • Repeat any course in which a "D" was earned, when the course is next offered.

If these conditions are not met, the student will be placed on Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal from the University for at least one full term or two summer sessions.

Readmission to the program will be permitted only if it is recommended by the student's advisor and the dean/director of the College or School. If student wishes to appeal immediately, the instructions below will apply. If student accepts the withdrawal, he/she must contact Office of Admissions to seek readmission.

A grade of "F" in a graduate course results in Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal without a prior period of Scholastic Probation and discontinuance in the program except upon special recommendation of the dean of the College or School.

The student is expected to have acquired the knowledge and skills delineated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that are necessary for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). Students are evaluated with both formative and summative assessments to ensure they are achieving the skills required for certification and licensure.

Assessment of students’ compliance with non-academic (clinical) requirements involves the professional judgment of faculty and administrators who have the responsibility for ensuring that appropriate speech and language and swallowing services are provided to the public. It is OLLU's responsibility to protect both students and the clients they serve. To ensure student compliance, faculty review student progress at least once a semester. Potential problems are raised as soon as possible with the student and when appropriate, an individualized remediation plan is designed by the clinical faculty in collaboration with the Clinic Director. Students are given time to respond and provided opportunities and additional support designed to help them succeed. However, on rare occasions, it is necessary to counsel students out of the program for non-academic/clinical reasons. For additional information see the Clinic Handbook.

MA Thesis Option

The thesis is a collaborative endeavor between faculty and student designed to develop scholarly abilities that align with the program's clinician-scholar model. Students who choose to complete a thesis enroll in 3-6 hours of thesis credit to include any combination of CSCD 8391/8291/8191 (Thesis in Communication Disorders) and CSCD 7391 (Problems in Communication Disorders) at the discretion of the thesis director. The thesis option will require the student to take 3-6 hours more than the 49 required credit hours. Thesis students are not required to enroll in CSCD 7353 (Research and Efficacy). However, they are required to attend the first 5 instructional classes of this course on research design, efficacy of data, and ethics in research. Selection of a thesis topic is a shared responsibility between the student and thesis director. All members of the thesis committee are invited and appointed by the thesis director. The thesis director serves as the thesis committee Chairperson. The thesis committee shall be comprised of a minimum of three members who hold graduate faculty status: the major professor (committee Chairperson), a second faculty member in the department, and a third faculty member from outside the department. A graduate faculty member from outside the department will be assigned by the Office of Academic Affairs as Graduate Faculty Representative (4th reader). In the event there are 3 committee members from the student's department, the faculty member from outside the department as selected for the committee may serve as Graduate Faculty Representative (4th reader) with approval from the VPAA. See the CSD Thesis Handbook for more detail.

Students who do not choose the thesis option are required to complete an individual research project in CSCD 7353 (Research and Efficacy).

Non-Discrimination Policy

Faculty and students are treated in a non-discriminatory manner. No individuals shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran.

Complaint Process

Students may file complaints according to the policies and procedures outlined in the OLLU Student Handbook. These include policies for academic complaints, sexual harassment, and standards of student conduct related to items like dishonesty and plagiarism. Processes for complaints/appeals vary depending on the category. Students may consult with their advisor or student support services regarding appropriate procedures as outlined in the OLLU Student Handbook.

Student Academic Grievance  

Complaints related to graduate education should be submitted to the Chair of the Council on Academic Accreditation. Procedures for submitting complaints are listed below and also listed with the Harry Jersig Speech-Language-Hearing Center information:

Complaints to The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) by any Interested Party

Any individual who feels that it is necessary to contact the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) should follow the guidelines established by the CAA. These guidelines can be found on ASHA’s website and are titled Procedures for Complaints Against Graduate Education Programs. Note that the CAA is only contacted in cases of most serious offenses related to the Communication Disorders program’s compliance with accreditation standards. The CAA is concerned primarily with ASHA’s accreditation standards for programs that train students to become speech-language pathologists and audiologists and therefore should not be contacted for the purpose of airing complaints of a general or unspecified nature. Complaints to the CAA can also involve behavior that you suspect is in violation of the ASHA Code of Ethics. To view the Code of Ethics, visit ASHA’s website. All complaints must be signed and submitted in writing to: Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech- Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Blvd., #301, Rockville, MD 20850. The CAA will not accept complaints delivered by email or facsimile.